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My Garden Diary

September and October 2017

Copyright © 2017 by David E. Ross

Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site.

Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.

Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?


January-February 2013
March-April 2013
May-June 2013
July-August 2013
September-October 2013
November-December 2013
January-February 2014
March-April 2014
May-June 2014
July-August 2014
September-October 2014
November-December 2014
January-February 2015
March-April 2015
May-June 2015
July-August 2015
September-October 2015
November-December 2015
January-February 2016
March-April 2016
May-June 2016
July-August 2016
September-October 2016
November-December 2016
January-February 2017
March-April 2017
May-June 2017
July-August 2017

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012

Entries below are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.

When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.

Dates refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear unless a different year is given. Dates without years, however, may refer to entries on prior pages for the same year.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
8 Oct

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 63-86
Humidity: 31%
Wind: 3-11

Rain —
This season: 0.0
Days since last: 34

Treated the dwarf lemon tree (Citrus limon 'Eureka') with a systemic insecticide to stop an infestation by leaf miners. I wait until I see damage before I apply the treatment. That way, I not only prevent further damage but also destroy a generation of the maggots that cause the damage.

Put up cuttings of lavender to replace the bush in the circular bed that might be dying (4 Oct). While preparing the pots for new cuttings, I discovered that one cutting that I thought had failed (10 Sep) now has a new shoot. I left that one alone.

Also put up cuttings of the potted Kalanchoe blossfeldiana that is growing in my breakfast room's greenhouse window. The existing plant is too much overgrown and needs to be replaced.

Trimmed some shoots of the star jasmine that were threatening to invade a neighbor's back yard.

6 Oct

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 70-92
Humidity: 8%
Wind: 0-14

Rain —
This season: 0.0
Days since last: 32

Fed the dwarf citrus and gardenia with commercial citrus fertilizer and a pinch of zinc sulfate. This is the last feeding for both until the end of winter.

Dibudded the spoon-flowered chrysanthemum (C. morifolium) on the main patio. This should promote larger flowers near the end of the year.

Anchored shoots of star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) to the ground in an area where it has scant growth.

The sprinklers ran early this morning. Now the "dead" lavender (4 Oct) seems quite alive. I will still put up cuttings as soon as the weather cools.

4 Oct

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 68-
Humidity: 19%
Wind: 0-17

Rain —
This season: 0.0
Days since last: 30

A new rain season started on 1 Oct. Thus, the rain 30 days ago did not contribute to this season's total.

Trimmed the four potted weeping Chinese banyans (Ficus benjamina) on the front porch. They had become far too tall and began to block access to the front door. Late this coming winter — perhaps late February — I plan to trim it again to discourage the annual nesting of a pair of humming birds. I do want to encourage humming birds in my garden; but when they nest on my front porch, they fling their droppings against my house.

The sickly lavender (10 & 17 Sep and earlier) in the circular bed has been fluctuating. Sometimes it seems to be dying, and other times it seems to be recovering vigorously. Now, it seems to be dead. I will have to put up cuttings from some of the others to replace it.

27 Sep

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 65-92
Humidity: 10%
Wind: 2-14

Replaced two drip irrigation emitter heads in the front rose garden. I also replaced the emitter heads for the potted dwarf kumquat (Citrus margarita) and the potted dwarf navel orange (Citrus sinensis 'Robertson') in back.

Rain —
This season: 19.36
Days since last: 23

22 Sep

Scattered clouds, some sun, and mild

Temp: 52-73
Humidity: 43%
Wind: 0-16

Rain —
This season: 19.36
Days since last: 18

Fed the roses with ammonium sulfate. I also gave a small pinch of ammonium sulfate to the Cymbidium orchid on the small circular patio in back.

For feeding the roses in front, I must run the drip irrigation so that I can know where to place the fertilizer. I noticed that some of the drip emitters are damaged, likely caused by squirrels seeking water. I will have to replace those emitters.

17 Sep

Cloudy, some hazy sun, and mild

Temp: 57-78
Humidity: 59%
Wind: 0-11

Rain —
This season: 19.36
Days since last: 13

Raked leaves in front, putting them as mulch around the valley white oak (Quercus lobata) and on bare patches in the front lawn.

Fed the dwarf citrus and gardenia (G. jasminoides 'Veitchii') with ammonium, iron, and zinc sulfates.

The remaining branches on the lavender bush that seemed to be struggling (10 Sep) are all doing okay. Perhaps the bush will survive.

Sifted compost. After adding leaves from a trash barrel where they had been sitting dry for almost two years, I covered the pile with the uncomposted material that failed to pass through the sifter. Although we had measurable rain just 13 days ago, the pile was quite dry; so I watered the pile thoroughly.

10 Sep

Partially cloudy to fully overcast; occasional sun, sometimes full and sometimes hazy; and hot

Temp: 68-96
Humidity: 23%
Wind: 2-22

Rain —
This season: 19.36
Week: 0.07

We actually got some rain within the past week: 0.07 inches. That is more than enough to wet dust.

Mostly just puttered today.

The heat of last month — reaching 112°F on 30 Aug — did noticeable damage. The pink clover (Persicaria capitata) lawn in front looks quite bad.

One of the 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender (Lavandula lanata × dentata) bushes in the circular bed in back has severe die-back. I trimmed away the dead branches. I do not know why this is happening since the other four lavender bushes in that bed are thriving. This one might have to be replaced.

Neither the lavender nor the Artimesia (A. arborescens × absinthium) cuttings (10 Jun) survived the heat. I will have to start them over. Thus, I cannot use the lavender cutting to replace the dying lavender in the circular bed.

Trimmed some shoots of the star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) that had started to climb the adjacent dwarf tangelo (Citrus reticulata × paradisi).

Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.

The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.

Winter chill is the cumulative hours of temperatures at or below 45°F from 1 November through 31 March. It is reported during that period and through April.

The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)

Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.

Rain is in inches. Season is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year (our "rain-year"). Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no measurable rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.

Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.

The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:

Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
See also My Climate.
July-August 2017
May-June 2017
March-April 2017
January-February 2017
November-December 2016
September-October 2016
July-August 2016
May-June 2016
March-April 2016
January-February 2016
November-December 2015
September-October 2015
July-August 2015
May-June 2015
March-April 2015
January-February 2015
November-December 2014
September-October 2014
July-August 2014
May-June 2014
March-April 2014
January-February 2014
November-December 2013
September-October 2013
July-August 2013
May-June 2013
March-April 2013
January-February 2013

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012


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